History

Mid 1500s.
Listed below are a sample of  works which discuss lesser known historical aspects of Hispanic influence on our area:

    * Caughey, John. "The Panis Mission to Pensacola, 1778." Hispanic American Historical Review, 10 (November 1930), pp. 480-489.
    * ----. "Bernardo de Gálvez and the English Smugglers on the Mississippi." Hispanic American Historical Review, 12 (February 1932), pp. 46-58.
    * ----. "The Natchez Rebellion of 1781 and Its Aftermath." Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 16 (January 1933), pp. 57-83.
    * -----. "Diary of the Operations Against Pensacola." Translated by Gaspar de Cusachs. Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 1 (January 1917), pp. 44-84.
    * Gold, Robert L. "Governor Bernardo de Gálvez and Spanish Espionage in Pensacola, 1777." In John F. McDermott, editor, The Spanish in the Mississippi                 Valley 1762-1784 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1974), pp. 87-99.
    * Lawson, Katherine S. "Luciana de Herrera, Spanish Spy in British St. Augustine." Florida Historical Quarterly, 23 (January 1945), pp. 170-176.
The Spanish Land Grants.

     The Spanish Land Grants were land claims filed by settlers in Florida after the transfer of the territory from Spain to the United States in 1821 in order to prove land ownership. Starting in 1790, Spain offered land grants to encourage settlement to the sparsely populated and vulnerable Florida colony.

     When the United States assumed control of Florida, it agreed to honor any valid land grants. Yet residents had to prove that validity through documentation and testimonials. Therefore, these records were the dossiers filed by grantees to the U.S. government. They were either confirmed (found to be valid) or unconfirmed (found invalid) by the US government through land commissions, federal courts, or by the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, many of the records for West Florida are missing.  Read more at FloridaMemory.com

The Old Spanish Trail

     Conceived  in 1915 as the shortest route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Old Spanish Trail (OST) connecting St. Augustine, Florida and San Diego, California, took nearly fifteen years to construct at a cost of more than $80,000.000.  The Old Spanish Trail in Florida, generally follows old US 90 and spans 455 miles. Beginning in St. Augustine, the trail traverses a diverse landscape, cutting across the Panhandle and ending in Pensacola. (Click on  the heritage/culture section to read about how the City of  Crestview celebrates the Old Spanish Trail.)

The website  "drivetheost.com/florida"  is developing narrative travelogs for each state along the Old Spanish Trail. Since most history is local, they need your help identifying stories about the small towns, gas stations, motels, bridges, and points of interest along the Trail -- send them  your news! at the above web address.

The Town of Ponce de Leon, Florida

     Ponce de Leon is a small town in the Northwest Florida panhandle near the Alabama line.  Some folks think the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, may have searched for the Fountain of Youth here.  Ponce de Leon Springs, named after Florida's discoverer, produces millions of gallons of 68-degree crystal clear water and is the centerpiece of a 443-acre state park, which features a nature trail and picnic area as well.  This rural town is also home to two other natural springs, Vortex and Morrison, which attract scuba and skin divers, swimmers, campers, and other visitors from afar. 

Community of Ebor City, Florida.

        Vicente Martinez Ybor, born in 1818, was a major figure in the founding and development of Ybor City. He participated in negotiations with the Tampa Board of Trade in 1885 and led efforts to purchase land adjacent to Tampa for the cigar industry and its accompanying community. In addition to building his factory, Ybor created a system for the workers to buy their houses. He built the first hotel in Ybor City, El Pasaje. He organized the Ybor Land & Improvement Company, which encouraged entrepreneurs to establish businesses in Ybor City. The company invested in the Florida Brewing Company and the Tampa Gas Company, provided more than $250,000 to grade streets, erect streetlights and enforce sanitary measures. Vicente Martinez Ybor died in 1896. His Great Floridian plaque is located at the Ybor City State Museum, 1818 East 9th Avenue, Tampa.



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